June 8, 2014 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese army (SPLA) general who defected to the armed opposition group last week has now called for "total regime change", arguing it was the only way citizens would realise why the country fought decades of war.
- General Dau Aturjong
General Dau Aturjong, who declared he had joined rebels led by South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, exclusively told Sudan Tribune the current system under president Salva Kiir’s leadership was "shameful" and "unacceptable".
“Our people and the international community know very well there is no people’s government in Juba. What is there is no longer a government. If you look at its composition and take a comparative analysis, you will definitely find that it is a collection of individuals who are after their own interests and not our people," Aturjong said on Sunday.
"So why should our people continue to support a government of individuals and continue to die of hunger, diseases and have no roads and children not going to schools while we have abundant resources?" he asked.
TIME FOR CHANGE
The senior army official further claimed the only achievement to have ever come from Kiir’s government was "corruption" and "killing" of innocent people allegedly at the expense of service delivery, including protection of civilians.
"Tell me the achievements Salva Kiir has made for the last eight years in power? You are a South Sudanese and live in the country. What are the achievements you can tell me about this government? The only achievement of that government under Salva Kiir and his friends is corruption and the worse thing is the killing of innocent people," said Aturjong.
He said people were dying in the new nation as if no government was in power, yet the mandate is to ensure peace and stability exists in the world’s youngest nation.
"So, for our people to live in peace and stability, they must work to change this regime. They is need to rescue the country and now is the time to wake up," said the general.
SACRIFICE FOR CHANGE
According to the army general, any revolutionary struggle usually involves people who accepted to operate under very difficult situations after total self-sacrifice and altruism.
Regime change, he argued, does not happen by itself but through sacrifices made by people in the country. He urged the youth and politically conscious leaders to join the struggle for change.
“I think it is a great merit for a man or woman to give his or her life for a revolutionary idea and to fight. Even though some people believe there is nothing after death, they uphold the idea, the moral value, so firmly that they defend it with everything they have or life," said Aturjong.
"This country has claimed million lives of our people for it to be allowed to be mismanaged by individuals. The regime of Salva Kiir should be totally changed, if our people need to live in a lasting peace and harmony,” he added.